Apr 22, 2021

WM Reply powers Vanarama to omnichannel success

Reply
Vanarama
Ecommerce
solutions
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Reply keeps Vanarama’s automotive eCommerce running smoothly and its expertise covers all aspects of the digital consumer journey
WM Reply keeps Vanarama’s automotive eCommerce running smoothly and its expertise covers all aspects of the digital consumer journey

WM Reply, a leader in digital experience, enterprise e-commerce websites, and digital products, has played a key role in the growth of Vanarama’s leasing business.

Andy Alderson, Founder and CEO of Vanarama, said: “WM Reply has enabled us to bring in new techniques for the delivery of e-commerce solutions.”

WM Reply is a part of the Reply group, which covers all retailer and wholesaler needs, utilising their skill set in strategy planning, technology architectures and implementation. 

Its solutions implement both B2B and B2C scenarios and let retailers and producers define an end-to-end strategy from the digital to the physical.

Starting with marketing, promotions, digital couponing and consumers’ social engagement, underpinned by strong and effective management of products, orders and catalogues, Reply enables clients to offer their customers a unique shopping experience and carry out business the way they expect to.

Five pillars underpin its next-generation digital consumer journeys - strategy, attraction, conversion, retention and advocacy.

Reply and Microsoft have developed a use case for vehicle damage inspection, fully automating the process using AI, Cloud Computing and state-of-the-art Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) technology.

As part of the Reply Group, WM Reply is comprised of 200 specialist employees with offices in London, Chester, Manchester, Chicago, Auckland, and Minsk. WM Reply specialises in UX research, UI and creative design, bespoke development, and managed project delivery. WM Reply leverages their core skills and experience to offer an end-to-end product design and development service, covering each phase of digital product development, from product strategy, through to delivery, ongoing support, and iterative optimisation.

Alongside automotive, Reply is active in energy and utilities, financial services, logistics and manufacturing, public sector and healthcare, retail and consumer products, telcomms and media.

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Jun 13, 2021

Harnessing APIs to unlock and operationalise your data

technology
Data
insights
Paul Crerand
4 min
It’s widely accepted that unlocking insight from data is key to driving successful digital transformation and competitive advantage

Data is the fuel that powers modern businesses. It’s widely accepted that unlocking insight from data is key to driving successful digital transformation and competitive advantage. Yet the gap between understanding the importance of data-driven insight and being able to achieve it remains stubbornly wide, as critical information remains locked away in silos. To overcome these challenges, businesses must try a new approach. API-led connectivity offers a reusable, standardised way to integrate data across multiple platforms, systems, and applications. When done right, it can be the fast-track to IT and business teams productivity, innovation, and growth.

A data explosion

The past decade has seen a data explosion. Analyst firm IDC predicted that over 59 zettabytes (ZBs) of data would be “created, captured, copied, and consumed” in the world last year alone. In the next three years it’s predicted to continue growing at a CAGR of 26%, during which time more data will have been created than during the past 30 years. At the top of any CIO or business leader’s wish-list is the ability to extract insight from these vast troves of information in order to make more effective decisions. According to McKinsey, data-driven companies are 1.5 times more likely to report revenue growth of greater than 10%.

Unfortunately, just like much of the population for much of the last 12 months, data is locked down and isolated. MuleSoft’s 2021 Connectivity Benchmark report reveals that data silos and existing IT infrastructure are making it difficult for most firms to integrate new technologies and make changes to IT systems and applications. In fact, currently less than third of enterprise applications on average are integrated, so there is still significant room for improvement. Those organisations that are able to connect the dots between their data stand to realise increased customer engagement, business transformation and innovation benefits.

Journey towards API-led integration

Legacy custom code point-to-point integration may have been fine a decade ago when enterprises ran relatively few applications. But today’s businesses need something altogether more agile. Point-to-point can be expensive and complex, which means IT ends up spending too much of its time on maintenance and not enough on innovation.

This is where APIs come in, offering a more seamless and cost-effective way to drive integration through discoverability, self-service, and reuse. Rather than building the same point-to-point integration for use in 10 different projects, which requires each to be maintained individually as unique sets of code, a single API can be developed to be reused across them all. An API-led approach therefore means companies only have to unlock each data set just once to empower business teams across the organisation to use that data in their own projects.

The value of this approach can be extended even further with today’s low-code tools, which support drag-and-drop integrations. This can help to ease the burden on IT teams and empower business users to deliver their own integration projects.

The LendingTree experience

One company that has driven major improvements through reusable APIs is online loans marketplace LendingTree. Originally its 16 different business units were operating with siloed, incomplete data, meaning 360-degree customer insight was impossible—affecting sales and the end-user experience. The firm was not able to capture or analyse call centre data, limiting its ability to improve experiences for its customers.

Using APIs to draw in data from multiple systems and databases in real-time, LendingTree was able to consolidate its customer data on Salesforce to create a single source of truth for cross-departmental teams. This approach empowers service agents by giving them access to individuals’ loan application history from a single console, drastically reducing the time it takes them to consolidate various sources of customer data. As such, its API-led integration approach has allowed LendingTree to free up time and resources to launch new capabilities faster.

The future’s digital

Organisations have been affected in many different ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. But across the board, the desire among business leaders over the coming months will be to emerge from the crisis stronger than ever. Data-driven insight will be vital to this achievement, as businesses push ahead with digital innovation. API-led integration can help them to ensure that data strategies are long-lasting and sustainable, paving the way for long-term success and a brighter digital future.

 

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